City of Fort Collins Utilities: Water Shortage Watch, Starting April 29

May 5, 2021 | Member News

The Fort Collins City Manager has issued a Water Shortage Watch for Fort Collins Utilities water customers effective April 29. As we enter runoff and thunderstorm season, we’re likely to see sediment and ash from the Cameron Peak Fire flow into the Cache la Poudre River. Because of this, Fort Collins Utilities may experience temporary periods when Poudre River water supplies are unavailable. In these situations, we have the flexibility to rely mainly on water from Horsetooth Reservoir.

These source water limitations, in addition to irrigation demands during what is projected to be a hot and dry summer, have the potential to create a water shortage. Stay updated on the status of our water quality and supply at

Together, We Can Make a Difference
By taking voluntary actions now to reduce water use, Fort Collins residents and businesses can actively help protect our water supplies and lower the chance of mandatory water restrictions if conditions worsen. Find ways to save water that work best for you:

  • Rely on spring moisture to water your lawn. Once it starts warming up, limit lawn watering to two days a week.
  • Don’t run sprinklers during the heat of the day. Water lawns, landscapes and gardens after 6 p.m. and before 10 a.m.
    • Use drip irrigation systems to efficiently water plants and trees near the roots, reducing water loss due to evaporation. Many types of efficient irrigation equipment qualify for residential rebates or commercial rebates.
  • Always use a shutoff nozzle on your hose when washing vehicles or hand watering.
  • Use dry methods such as sweeping to clean sidewalks and driveways and avoid spraying with water.
    • Consider turning off fountains and water features this year. Use a shutoff timer on personal recreational water toys and when refilling outdoor swimming pools and save even more water by using a cover on swimming pools and hot tubs when not in use.
    • Save water indoors, too: limit showers to five minutes, only wash full loads (clothes and dishes), turn off the faucet when not in use (brushing teeth, shaving, etc.), fix leaks and receive rebates when you install qualifying efficient toilets, showerheads and appliances.
  • Track your water use and sign up for leak alerts using the MyWater portal,

Set a goal to use at least 10% less water this summer. If everyone used just 10% less water outdoors, we would save over 200 million gallons in 2021! The City is doing its part, too, by using irrigation best practices and limiting fleet vehicle washing, street sweeping and hydrant flushing.

The watch will continue until no longer needed and if conditions worsen, we may continue looking to the community for further help reducing water use through mandatory water restrictions. We will keep the community updated on the status of our water resources as this situation evolves, including potential watering restrictions in 2021 and beyond. Stay updated on the status of our water quality and supply at